Intramuros

Enjoy your visit to the walled city.


How to get there



The historic site can be reached by taxis. However, the colorful jeepneys provide cheap and convenient commute. Ferry boats are now available, too. By far, the best way to get there is by foot from Light Rail Transit (LRT) central station because it gives a quick introduction to busy-busy and bustling Manila as we know it now.


Sketch Plan of Intramuros circa 
 
 1898.

For the adventurous, there are horse-drawn calesas and caretelas. These equally colorful mode of transportation are operated by men who, I found out, know Manila passionately in general and Intramuros in particular. They also make excellent guides and are always generous with insights on just about anything related to this historic site.

 

 

 

- photo on the right is a sketch of Intramuros circa 1898.

 

What to see

Of course, first on my list is Fort Santiago, where the Jose Rizal Shrine is located. This used to be a military headquarters of the Spanish colonial government. It sustained heavy damage during World War II. The iconic gate which bears the image of St. James, the Moor slayer (Santiago Matamoro) has been carefully restored. It is now the most recognizable symbol of Manila next to the Manila City Hall's clock tower.


The plazas, monuments, museums, churches should not be missed and must be seen together with the walls, the ruins, the gates and the fortifications. The entire Intramuros is a veritable museum, a testament and proof of the richness of history of the Philippines.

 

 


Calesas, the 
 
 iconic gate to Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila and carvings of image of St. 
 
 James, the moor slayer
Calesas are a fixture in and around Fort Santiago; Photo on the right shows details of image of St. James, the Moor slayer, on the iconic gate to Fort Santiago, middle photo (photos courtesy of Bernadette Willes).


What to do

I urge you to take Carlos Celdran's "IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK! Walking Tour of Historic Intramuros," perhaps the most delightful way to experience the historic Intramuros. I haven't met nor have joined any of his tours yet, but from what I heard and read about him, it definitely is worth it. For more information on his walk schedules, rates and tour descriptions, please visit his site: Walk This Way.


For golf enthusiasts, the Club Intramuros Golf Course around the ancient walls offers an interesting experience. It's story is a curiosity. Ask your caddy.


Do shop for Filipiniana souvenirs and folk arts in shops within the walled city.


Eat and dine in budget, mid-range and fine restaurants which are aplenty in and around Intramuros. I have had an opportunity to sample the Spanish- Filipino cuisine served by Illustrado, a fine dining resto located in Calle Real del Palacio. I, however, paid more attention to the surroundings than on what was placed on our table. Thus, the experience became a simple case of watching the devil in the details. The food, of course, was fine.


As far as I am concerned, the best time to visit the historic sights within Jose Rizal's Intramuros is in the morning when the heat is pleasant enough to stroll around the Walled City. Don't forget to pass by Rizal Park which is just nearby, then, make it a must, too: the National Museum right beside the sprawling park.


More on Intramuros

Thanks to the wonders of internet. There are more resources now on Intramuros than ever on demand. However, if you have specific requirements that can not be served by regular tour and travel operators, please use our contact form to request for help from us.






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